Hello Brent Families! I hope your summer has been a restful, enjoyable one! I was fortunate to participate, along with my wife (who is a World History High School teacher at Washington-Lee HS in Arlington, VA) as a member of a U.S. Education Delegation that traveled to Beijing and Shanghai to visit a Chinese school, and to learn about their culture and history. It was hot, but we loved it and look forward to returning one day. As I sit here today, many things pop into my brain that give me excitement for the upcoming school year.
At the conclusion of last year, the school community came together and created a new vision statement: The Brent experience brings together a diverse learning community of students, staff and families to provide an ethical, personal and academic foundation for success in a global society. The goal is to nurture self-motivated and joyful learners who are creative and critical in their thinking and highly capable in their communication.
Additionally, I am very excited to remind folks that we were recipients of the Chancellor’s Proving What’s Possible Grant, where we will dedicate our time and attention on math, with four primary focus areas: a) working with some of struggling math students after school, twice a week for a total of two hours, b) creating parent informational sessions that educate parents on our math program, Investigations, and how that supports our students’ learning, c) allowing our staff to attend Investigations workshops which will build capacity in their math teaching, and finally, d) the creation of a three-week summer school math program for some of our struggling math students as well.
Parents will see a more concerted effort to streamline fieldtrips in order to directly support that which is occurring in the classroom. Social studies and science-based fieldtrips will be a focus as well. Speaking of science, in addition to the wonderful science instruction our students receive from Mr. Mangiaracina, I am asking each classroom teacher to assume responsibility for one science unit that will be incorporated into their reading block. Students will benefit from the additional science instruction, but more importantly they will see and understand the connection that science has with so many topics beyond the science classroom.
Our math instruction was on full display this summer. Brent was in the top five of schools District-wide in terms of improvement in our DC-CAS math scores, a 9.8% gain. That instruction will be bolstered this year by the hire of Ms. Kara Luna, a mathematician who comes to Brent as a former middle school teacher, former department chair, and current Brent family tutor to some of you. She will teach an additional math class in the third through fifth grades.
In addition to Ms. Luna, I am very excited to announce the hire of the following new staff members, they will be definite assets to the Brent community.
- Mr. Joshua Krohn: Music
- Ms. Amanda Burke: Special Education Teacher (PS-3)
- Ms. Kristen Gnau: Kindergarten aide
- Ms. Catherine Sprague: PS-3 aide
- Ms. Chalis Waizenegger: PK-4 aide
- Ms. Sara Tick: School Psychologist
- Ms. Kara Luna: Math Teacher (3-5)
Current Staff in New Positions:
- Ms. Sofie Alavi: Special Education Teacher (K-1)
- Mr. Parren Butler: Special Education Aide
- Ms. Malika Henry: Special Education Aide
Believe it or not, school begins less than three weeks, Monday August 27th. We have been busy cleaning, updating, and preparing for your arrival. I am pleased to announce that the installation of the cafeteria air conditioning has been finalized and is up and running successfully!
Finally, here are some key updates between now and the beginning of school that you need to know:
Friday, August 24th, 3pm-4pm: Brent Open House
Come meet your child’s teacher, reunite with current and new Brent families, and sign-up to be a PTA member!
Friday, August 24th, 3pm-4pm: Springboard Open House
During our school’s Open House, Springboard, our new afterschool provider will be in the cafeteria available to answer any questions you may have for them. I am pleased to announce that Ms. Meagan Berg will be their Site Coordinator, and will therefore be the point person for Springboard Afterschool at Brent this year! You will also have the opportunity to sign-up for the program if you have not already done so.
Wednesday, September 12th: School Picture Day
Thursday, September 13th from 6:30-8pm: Back-to-School Night
6:30-7 will be brief presentation by Principal Young on school specific initiatives/programs and an introduction to Brent staff, and then two classroom sessions: 7-7:25, and 7:30-7:55.
So, enjoy the rest of your summer and I, along with the Brent staff anxiously await your arrival. We’ll see you soon!